Seattle will stumble into Pittsburgh after losing to the Rams while the Steelers are coming off a solid win over the Broncos last week. Let’s see how these teams match up in this Sunday night showdown at Heinz Field and keep cashing our NFL picks!
Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 17, 2021 – 8:25 PM ET at Heinz Field
The Seahawks lost more than a game last week, they lost one of the best players in the league as well. Midway through the third quarter, Russell Wilson severely sprained his finger after hitting Aaron Donald’s arm when following through on a pass. Wilson stayed on the field for one more series but his injury prevented him from doing any more than tossing just one more pass before he called it quits and allowed backup, Geno Smith, to take over.
Smith would go 10-of-17 for 131 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Smith has been in the league since he was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
Aside from his first two years as just another young quarterback getting a baptism by fire with a lousy Jets’ team which ultimately ruined him for any other starting position available, Smith has not had to do much more than hold a clipboard on the sidelines over the last several years. Therefore, it’s tough to determine whether he will be serviceable or lackluster in this game, particularly against the likes of T.J Watt and company.
Steelers Brace for Hawks
Pittsburgh won a game they had to have last week when they defeated the Broncos, 27-19, and covered as one-point home dogs. Ben Roethlisberger went 15-of-25, tossed 253 yards, and added a pair of touchdowns. Rookie Najee Harris had a career-best 122 rushing yards and one trip into the end zone before cramps to his calves forced him to the sidelines.
It was an especially promising sign for an offensive line that has struggled mightily over the first part of the season as they allowed only one sack against a stout Denver defense. The offensive game plan also showed signs of life as Roethlisberger continued to hand off to Harris as the line was creating plenty of daylight for him.
“Why take it out of his hand when you’re grinding it, you’re getting it?” Roethlisberger said. “It was kind of fun to watch him excel and take over.”
Entering this contest, the Steelers are ranked 10th in points allowed, 9th in run defense, and 19th against the pass. Offensively, they are 27th in points scored, 31st in rushing yards, and 19th in passing yards. In other words, a decent defense but a lackluster offense is how the numbers are describing the Steelers. Roethlisberger has managed to remain in the lineup despite his penchant for injury but he is dealing with a pectoral issue and lost one of his top targets, JuJu Smith-Schuster, on Sunday to a shoulder injury.
Wanna Make a Bet?
The NFL odds on this game are showing the Steelers as 5 to 5 ½ point home chalk despite their 2-3 straight-up and ATS record. That’s usually a golden opportunity to fade a team like that and bet the other side. But the issue is that Seattle’s Geno Smith will be tested by a rough and tumble Pittsburgh pass rush that will be unrelenting throughout. If the Hawks decide to run the ball, they will likely be without their starter, Chris Carson, and will be up against a top 10 run-stop unit.
I’m not a proponent of backing the Steelers this season but it appears as though they are meeting the Seahawks at the perfect time. Let’s not forget that Seattle ranks among the worst defenses in the league, 22nd in points allowed, 31st against the run (hello Najee Harris), and 30th against the pass. Don’t you think Big Ben will eat up that secondary? I certainly do and if he does, how does Geno Smith match the Steelers score for score? I can’t see how that happens.
The Steelers may not be a team you will bet on often this season but they look really good in this spot on Sunday night.
NFL Pick: Steelers -5 (-110) at Bet365